Eastern Townships – TD Forests: Northern Green Mountains
Mount Burnt property, Northern Green Mountains, QC (Photo by Appalachian Corridor)
The Northern Green Mountains area of Quebec links up with the Green Mountains of Vermont, and is one of the last regions of southern Quebec where extensive wilderness tracks remain relatively intact. The area’s large, unfragmented forest blocks support incredible wildlife diversity. The region provides habitat for close to 20 species at risk; it is also treasured for its concentration of lakes and wetlands, unrivalled anywhere in the Canadian portion of Appalachian range. The jagged topography here gives rise to rocky cliffs and outcrops, caves, gorges, waterfalls and a multitude of streams, all contributing to the area’s richness.
A place for wandering wildlife
The vast areas of unfragmented forests in the region play an important role in supporting species that depend on large wilderness areas for their survival, such as black bear, bobcat and moose. The interior forest habitat here provides a safe haven for numerous forest bird species, including wood thrush, black-throated blue warbler, golden-winged warbler, American redstart, Cape May warbler, chestnut-sided warbler and olive-sided flycatcher.
Most of the land in this area is in private ownership. Many of the area’s residents are environmentally aware and want to protect their surrounding environment. Between 1987 and 2007, the extent of protected land in the Northern Green Mountains grew from 14,330 acres (5,800 hectares) to 43,490 acres (17,600 hectares), mainly thanks to NCC and its partners.
The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is a leading stakeholder in undertaking the protection of this unfragmented forest corridor. Over 20,500 acres (8,000 hectares) have been protected over the last 10 years in order to maintain large forest blocks that are able to sustain the area’s wildlife populations. The Mount Burnt property connects to existing protected areas in Quebec and Vermont.
A place of discovery
The ecosystems in the Northern Green Mountains host a wealth of biological diversity, the significance of which we are only beginning to discover. The serpentine outcrops are of high interest and have attracted scientists to the region.
The area is prime habitat for at-risk reptiles and amphibians. The clean, fresh mountain streams of the area are critical to salamanders. Wood turtles, which have been in decline over the past decade, find suitable habitat along the Missisquoi and Sutton Rivers. The protection of the Mount Burnt property now gives these and other native animals a better chance at survival.
Adjacent to the Vermont border, NCC’s 760-acre (310-hectare) Mount Burnt property is an integral part of the targeted Quebec–Vermont conservation corridor. This property is part of a landscape-scale conservation strategy targeting the creation of pathways that will prevent the isolation of the Sutton Mountains from the surrounding forested lands.
The 400-acre (160-hectare) property is located on the eastern slopes of Mount Foster. It is completely forested and provides habitat for mountain streams that flow towards the Missisquoi River. Now that it has been secured, the parcel expands on acreage already protected by NCC in the Northern Green Mountains Natural Area, helping to increase the network of crucial land connections.
Supporters of the project
The Mount Burnt and Mount Foster properties have both been conserved by NCC thanks to the generous support of the TD Bank Group through the TD Forests Program, and the Government of Canada through the Natural Areas Conservation Program. NCC also thanks Quebec’s Sustainable Development, Environment and Parks Ministry, Open Space Conservancy, Inc. (an affiliate of the Open Space Institute, Inc.), the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Maine Chapter of The Nature Conservancy and the Sweet Water Trust.
Read about our other TD Forests conservation projects.